baking or cooking

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Canada - French
Hi !

Am I right to say that we use the term bake only when cooking pastries in an oven ? Putting fish or vegetables in an oven would be cooking them.

Thanks !
  • yourmindisaradio

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If you just say "bake" - as in "I like to bake" - people understand things like cookies and cakes. "I like to cook" means you like making food more generally.

    However, the verb to bake - along with to broil, to oven-roast - refers to a specific way of cooking using an oven. You can bake a cake, a potato, a filet of fish...


    Senior Member
    You certainly bake a cake in the oven, as you can bake e.g. fish in the oven. Baked fish is healthier than fried fish (although I'd never say no to a fried cod with chips and salt and vinegar).

    If someone asks me what am I cooking for dinner tonight, I'd reply that I'm cooking fish. They can take this a bit further and ask, "are you gonna fry it, or bake it?"

    As yourmindisaradio says baking refers to a specific way of cooking using an oven, but when it comes to cakes or pastries then I can't imagine any other method of preparing them other than baking . I don't think there is any part of the world where you can fry a cake, but again you also get fried ice cream in some cuisines...
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    So if I understand well, by the moment you put something in an oven you bake.
    Try putting 'bake' into the WRF dictionary at the top of the page.
    OK, I will then. :D

    bake Averb
    1 bake
    cook and make edible by putting in a hot oven; "bake the potatoes"

    broil, bake
    heat by a natural force; "The sun broils the valley in the summer"

    3 bake
    prepare with dry heat in an oven; "bake a cake"

    All oven-cooking is not baking - compare roast. Baking is not limited to pastries ('baked potatoes') or ovens ('baked in the sun').


    New Member
    English - Wales
    That's a strange definition of roast if you ask me. The culinary meaning is to cook in an oven while using fat or oil to baste and moisten the meat. It is therefore possible to have roast ham and baked ham.
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